In April, Patrick Lagreid broke the news on the 2013 IPCPR trade show plans for Casa Fernández, including the Casa Fernández 35th Anniversary. Shortly after that story was published, the company tweaked its plans for the release. What will ship on November 15 will be a 6 x 54 box-pressed Toro consisting of Aganorsa tobacco aged five-to-six years.
The cigars will be packed 10 to a box, each signed by the company’s current owner, Eduardo Antonio Fernández Pujals, and Paul Palmer, president of Casa Fernández. Only 2,000 boxes will be made, carrying a price of $125 per box.
At the 2013 IPCPR trade show and convention, the cigars were shown off:
For those who suggest the Casa Fernández name has not been around for much longer than a decade, you would be correct. In 2002, Fernández bought Tabacalera Tropical, a company founded by Pedro Martin in 1978. Over the past few years, the company has began to rebrand itself as Casa Fernández alongside Aganorsa—Fernández’s agriculture conglomerate who grows tobacco in Nicaragua—although the Tabacalera Tropical name is still used occasionally within the industry. In 2011, the company opened up a small factory in Miami and shortly moved production of its Casa Fernández cigars to the factory.
Cigar Reviewed: Casa Fernández Aniversario Bohème No. 35
Country of Origin: USA
Factory: Casa Fernández Miami
Size: 6 Inches
Ring Gauge: 54
Vitola: Double Toro
MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125.00)
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Aganorsa wrapper is thick with roll lines in varying levels of obviousness. To the touch, the sand-colored café wrapper is soft. It has the typical Aganorsa aroma—a distinct sweet cocoa and pepper mixture—but there’s an added nuttiness and sweet cedar. From the cold draw, I get a sweet profile with some nuttiness, red wine, sweet cotton candy and a bit of nutmeg. It’s also here where I can tell you there were variances in all three of my samples. While the nuttiness was present in each—it wasn’t always as dominating—and was joined by an increased harshness and leather on one sample, a distinct lemonade note on another and a host of additional spices on another.
Predictably, the Bohème features a variety of introductions. One cigar starts out with a detailed nuttiness, a touch of sour and harshness and an open draw. Another? An open draw, soft and toasty, with an incredible floral note and nuttiness. The third? Sweet leather, bits of pepper, white pepper on the tongue and nutmeg. While the differences aren’t entirely resolved, by the end of each first third, the cigars are a lot more similar. There’s a nutty core, a huge floral note through the nose that joins a sugary sweetness on the tongue, and a variety of peppers and spices, especially nutmeg. At times the nuttiness can take on a peanut tone, but for most of the initial third, Strength is between medium and medium-full, which is where I would put most of the Casa Fernández releases to date.
At times, the smoke begins to pour out of the Casa Fernández 35th Anniversary. Part of that comes from the draw tightening from open to medium and some of them it has to do with a cigar that just seems to be burning better. With each cigar, the profiles turned fruitier and saw the floral note increase its presence with the nutty core. Unfortunately, I am not able to pick up the same complexities with the nuttiness I got from the earlier half of the Bohème. Fortunately however, the harshness is far less apparent at this point of the cigar. The ash remains flaky and occasionally needs touching up.
Into the final third and I get a dose of harshness on the back of the throat and an even heavier dose of banana through the nose. For the first time in the entire portion of the cigar, a cedar seems to completely overwhelm the Casa Fernández Bohème’s signature nuttiness. There’s a touch of creaminess, although not as much as was present in the second third. The cigar burns cool until while under an inch, when I finally let it die.
- Take the bands off and ask me what cigar this is, I’d guess Illusione.
- Interestingly, the boxes say “35 years in Miami.” I’m not really sure where that comes from, but I’ve generally given up on policing the details behind anniversaries.
- For those wondering, yes, the bands did remind me of the Viaje Friends and Family, but I quickly realized the foot bands are noticeably different. For those wondering what those details look like:
- The bands are a bit whiter than they appear in these pictures, not Davidoff white, but not as dull as the pictures.
- I actually differ from Patrick Lagreid when it comes to anniversary cigars. While he has suggested that we need more celebrating, I could do without some of the minor anniversaries.
- While the tobacco is five to six years old, the cigars were rolled some time in between mid-April and June. I think the No. 35 is going to benefit with a few more months of rest.The 35th anniversary doesn’t bother me as much as some company’s fifth anniversaries or this.
- In addition to Casa Fernández, the Casa Fernández Miami factory has been contracted for a few other brands including Dante and Ezra Zion.
- Along with the 35th Anniversary, Casa Fernández will ship the JFR Junior on November 15.
- Amongst the naming details of the industry, Casa Fernández is an interesting case. Over the years, the company has included the accent on the first a more and more, although its absent in a lot of places, notably the bands.
- Casa Fernández might be the most overlooked brand in the cigar business.
- I do wonder given the way this cigar was named if we are going to see more anniversary editions from Casa Fernández a la Padrón.
- While we don’t score cigars with price in mind, we do continue to bring up the importance of 10-count boxes, no price point suggests it more than this. At $12.50 per cigar, I think it might be a bit overpriced, but I wouldn’t hesitate at the $125 per box recommendation. That being said, at $250 (20-count) or $312.50 (25-count) there’s no way that’s happening.
- In addition, as much as I would have liked to see the Figurado vitola, dropping the price from $14 to $12.50 makes the price point noticeably more bearable.
- Strength is medium to medium-full.
- For those unaware, Eduardo Fernández also owns Aganorsa.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Casa Fernández.
- Final smoking time was an incredibly slow two hours and five minutes on average.
- While the cigars have not shipped yet, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar has them listed on its website. Site sponsors BestCigarPrices and Cigar King both list other Casa Fernández products in stock on their website. Don’t forget to tell them halfwheel sent you.
In my opinion, this cigar will shine in a few months. It’s good now, but there is still some youth left that I don’t think adds any dimension to the cigar. In a few months, I think we will have a cigar that is detailed, complex and incredibly smooth, as opposed to how the Casa Fernández Aniversario Bohème No. 35 currently stands, lacking the latter. While this looks like a cigar to come from Casa Fernández, it doesn’t have a profile that I would say falls squarely within the brand’s portfolio, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Given some of the detail I found in the Bohème, I’m very interested to see how more cigars with a strong contingent of aged Aganorsa tobacco will taste like, because I liked this one a lot.